The Malaysian Reserve

Kg Baru development still stuck on ownership issue

A construction worker walking past a construction area in Kg Baru, Kuala Lumpur, recently. Ownerships of the land have been complicated because they have been passed down for several generations, with individual lots getting ever smaller, from the first residents who were awarded the land by the govt. (Pic by Afif Abd Halim/TMR)

By AZREEN HANI

Ownership claims continue to frustrate the development of Kampung Baru, the last parcel of under developed land in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre that lags other areas in Malaysia’s capital.

Development of the 121.8ha Malay enclave in Kuala Lumpur, estimated to be worth billions, has been dogged by overlapping title claims over the last 30 years. This decades-old problem could delay the realisation of a modern and 21st century “Kampung Melayu” in Kuala Lumpur.

Kampung Baru Development Corp (KBDC) chairman Datuk Affendi Zahari said the company has succeeded in getting the Department of DG of Lands and Mines (JKPTG) into the picture to help resolve the overlapping claims.

Affendi says bringing money to be utilised solely for the convenience of Kg Baru is not an easy task (Pic by Hussein Shaharuddin/TMR)

He said the JKPTG has agreed to hold another meeting with claimants to work out a way through the inheritance issues.

“We will provide the space for this hearing to take place in our office here,” Affendi told The Malaysian Reserve.

Once developed, Kampung Baru could become one of the most expensive real estate deals in Kuala Lumpur.

However, ownerships of the land have been complicated because they have been passed down for several generations, with individual lots getting ever smaller, from the first residents who were awarded the land by the government.

Malays traditionally divide the land equally between all their children.

This distribution model has reduced the individual commercial value of the land as the size shrinks. Presently, there are about 1,350 plots that need to be amalgamated because they are too small to be developed individually.

About 5,000 heirs have been claiming their rights in Kampung Baru. Only 18 “clean titles” were secured out of the 1,350 parcels of land.

The Kampung Baru redevelopment is a 20-year project launched last year and is expected to be completed in 2035. Once completed, it would have 17,500 residential units and could accommodate 77,000 people.

The redevelopment of the Malay enclave had stalled since 2012, the same year KBDC was incorporated.

“Some of the things we have undertaken in Kampung Baru could be taken for granted as daily routine in other more modern cities.

“But to bring money to be utilised solely for the convenience of Kampung Baru is not an easy task,” Affendi said.

KBDC is planning smaller impactful projects alongside the grandeur plans within the 20-year period.

Among the projects that are expected to start this year-end include the Saloma Link, with the first kick-off meeting with all the relevant authorities that took place a month ago.

“We hope to start the construction of the Saloma Link in December 2017,” Affendi said.

The 500m walkway, proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, will connect Jalan Ampang to Kampung Baru.

“The Kampung Baru Link and Kapar Link Expressway (DUKE 2A) construction, which will serve the Kampung Baru area, is in the final stage. The construction is slated to take place by June 2018. The design will be finalised in December 2017.”

Earlier this year, Ekovest Bhd secured the RM6.32 billion contract to build DUKE 2A, a 75.2km highway linking Kuala Lumpur to Kapar in Selangor.

KBDC has also commissioned Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn Bhd to conduct a comprehensive study on restructuring of road, utilities and broadband for Kampung Baru.

“We have started talking with Telekom Malaysia Bhd to provide the infrastructure to make Kampung Baru a smart city and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Skudai for plans to make Kampung Baru a low-carbon city,” Affendi said.